Artful Decision Why Gallery Curators Choose Amerlux

Amerlux’s SPEQ LED track heads illuminate the “Never Built NY” exhibit at the Queens Museum, in New York City.

Like a cast of supporting actors who help the lead shine, superior lighting casts art in the best light.

Gallery curators carefully choose what part of the exhibit should be well lit and which part should be left to the shadows. The dynamic is a play within itself.

Lighting art is an art—and the new gold standard for galleries is Amerlux’s SPEQ track lighting.

LED lights can help protect the artworks, enhance the visiting experience and provide significant energy cost savings. When it comes to lighting precious works of art, more and more galleries are choosing Amerlux for the elegant lighting solution they need.

One of those galleries is the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. Its recent “Never Built New York” exhibit, which showcased New York City architecture projects that were never constructed, was lit with SPEQ LED lighting from Amerlux, which remains in the space for future exhibits.

SPEQ, a modern-styled and highly efficient LED tracking lighting system by Amerlux, offers exactly what galleries need including, most importantly, light that does not damage the art as well as energy savings that do not sacrifice color quality. Maintaining this balance has long been a difficult problem for museums and galleries to manage.

Halogen and metal-halide lights provided an imperfect solution and could seriously damage artwork over time with their UV emissions, not to mention maintenance issues from lamps burning out during exhibits. With Amerlux’s SPEQ lights, it could easily be a decade or two before the LEDs need to be replaced.

SPEQ LED track heads come in three sizes Small (15 w max, 1,310 lm), Medium (26 w max, 2,056 lm) and Large (48 w max, 3,977 lm).

SPEQ LEDs emit neither harmful UV rays nor high amounts of heat, making their use with priceless art entirely safe. Since there is no UV light or substantial heat, galleries can illuminate delicate art much brighter without risking damage. With SPEQ LEDs, heat and UV concerns are a thing of the past.

Furthermore, now LED lamps have the color control to completely supersede halogen lights. Halogen lighting’s strength was its warm color rendering, but LEDs like SPEQ have evolved to render color even better than the outdated halogen lights, especially with whites, blues and other which appeared yellowish under halogen lights. Additionally, SPEQ LEDs hold their color temperature when dimmed, maintaining the same light color at any power level. Finally, low light does not have to mean orange light!

Highly adjustable and repositionable, SPEQ’s track heads have a clean and minimal design that does not draw attention to itself, instead putting the spotlight on the display. Unlike several competitor’s lights, SPEQ lights have excellent beam control without any glare as well as customizable controls (e.g. snoots, louvers) to ensure that the light goes exactly where it is needed without any spillover.

In addition to SPEQ’s art preserving qualities and customizability, the lighting system really shines when it comes to energy efficiency and longevity. The 48-watt SPEQ LED lights installed at the Queens Museum, used about 15 percent of the 300-watt quartz lamps they replaced, resulting in significant energy savings for the museum.

Most of the power going to halogen lamps is actually wasted in the form of heat, which causes paintings to fade and increases electric bills. With LEDs, instead of wasting lots of energy in the form of heat, they use a tiny amount of electricity and all of it goes into lighting the space.

Galleries can enjoy these significant energy savings for years, if not decades, due to SPEQ’s long life. While halogen lamps last for about 2,000 hours, SPEQ LEDs suffer no depreciation in light quality for more than 50,000 hours. This is especially key for high ceiling applications, where costly lifts and scaffolds are not needed for years after installing SPEQ lighting.

Amerlux can ship SPEQ lights in just 10 days, so your next exhibit will be seen in the best light.


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Top Streetlights: A Checklist for University Facility Managers

When it comes to campus safety, one of the easiest ways to quickly make a safer campus is through exterior lighting improvements.

People tend to feel unsafe on unevenly lit walkways and around dark corners. In fact, “walking on unlit pathways” was one of the top safety concerns listed by the 179,000 college students recently surveyed by New lighting on campus is a quick fix that actually works.

More colleges and universities recognize that upgrading their lighting to LEDs, can improve campus safety, reduce energy costs, and reduce their carbon footprint. LED lighting technology is a win-win on every front and it is revolutionizing the lighting industry.

A Checklist for LED Street Lighting Upgrades

Here are the factors to consider when retrofitting pedestrian lighting on campus:

  • Safer campuses: More light on walkways and around academic buildings and residence halls makes for a safer environment on campus. Additionally, LED technology can significantly improve the quality of images captured through closed-circuit television systems (CCTV) and security cameras. Having better images makes law enforcement’s job much easier when they are investigating incidents and makes for a more secure campus.
  • Significant energy savings: LED technology is extremely efficient and uses dramatically less power than conventional lighting. Energy bills can be slashed by as much as 90 percent with LED lighting. That difference can result in $100s of thousands in annual savings — a major boost to the operating budget.
  • Easy retrofitting: Maintain your current campus aesthetics by using Amerlux’s Avista LED lighting in your existing light fixtures (luminaires). Designed for easy retrofitting, Avista LED light engines can be installed in just 15 minutes in most fixtures. Avista can be simply retrofitted into a wide variety of luminaires, including those by Holophane, Hadco, King, Louis Poulsen, Lumec, Pemco, Sternberg, Visco.
  • Long-term reliability: Avista lights can deliver years of maintenance-free operation, due to the LED technology and durable construction. The quality of the light (lumen output) in LEDs remains constant and consistent for 50,000 – 100,000 hours of use, versus 100 hours for outdated conventional lighting such as metal halide and high-pressure sodium. Additionally, Avista LEDs are IP66-rated to withstand water and dust intrusion, ensuring functional operation in cold, wet and dusty conditions and prolonging the life of the lighting engine. Install Avista LEDs on your campus today and your current students will be bringing their children back to campus for tours before you have to replace the lights, which is why university facility managers choose Amerlux.
  • Environmentally friendly: LEDs use a fraction of the energy that conventional lighting requires and frequently delivers more lumens for that power. Besides the savings this brings to your energy bills, it also helps the environment by wasting less power. Avista lighting has three different lighting distribution options (symmetric, asymmetric, and low-glare street optic) so you can customize the lamps output. This ensures the light goes where it is needed without waste and does not trespass outside its designated area — all factors that help with green certifications such as LEED. Besides using less energy, LEDs also lack the hazardous materials, such as mercury that fluorescent and HID lights contain, making them more environmentally-friendly all around. Avista lighting is an easy tool to help your institution enhance its sustainability and position it as a leader in green practices.
  • Get started right away: You can have Avista lights in your hands in as few as 10 days.

Campus security is not something to make light of. You can help your university be seen in the best light by upgrading to Amerlux Avista lights. See how.


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How Los Angeles cut energy costs by 75% with Avista lights

Lead Capture

Why University Facility Managers Choose Amerlux

Amerlux AvistaLike academics, the subject of safety is mission critical on college campuses.

From a facility manager’s perspective, the objective is to find ways to mitigate potential incidents of crime and injury. Such unfortunate outcomes can increase a university’s liability, insurance rates and bad media coverage, which could have a negative impact on student enrollment.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, colleges reported the incidence of some 39,000 campus crimes in 2015, involving everything from burglaries/robberies to physical/sexual assault and car theft. In addition, a National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) reveals that roughly two-thirds of physical/sexual assaults and nearly three-quarters of all auto thefts occur at night.

A recent survey of 179,000 college students by revealed that “walking on unlit pathways” represented one of students’ top safety concerns on campuses nationwide.  A recent article published in University Business Magazine by author Neal Raisman further reiterated that “nothing generates a sense of fear like dark areas” and that good lighting in parking lots, pathways, halls, and lobbies is among the most immediate actions colleges and universities can take to deter crime and increase students’ and faculty’s sense of safety and security.

Amerlux’s LED Solutions Shine on Higher Education

To help college’s proactively address negative events, Amerlux has recently launched exterior products to better light walkways, steps and dingy parking garages, while dramatically reducing energy expenses.

Previously dominated by more conventional halogen, incandescent, fluorescent, and HID light sources in higher education settings, street, step/pathway, and garage lighting have all been revolutionized by the emergence of LED technology over the last five years and are among the fastest-growing segments of the LED market today based on the variety of benefits they deliver:

  • Energy Efficiency – LED technology draws only a fraction of the power of its more conventional lighting counterparts, reducing energy bills by anywhere from a third to as much as 90 percent while enhancing sustainability and helping to position the institution as a leader in green practices.
  • Long Life – While conventional light sources require more frequent change-out and maintenance due to their more limited lifespan, the 50,000-100,000 hours of rated life available on many LED fixtures ensure years – even decades! – of maintenance-free operation, resulting in lower maintenance costs and enhanced maintenance crew productivity.
  • Consistency and Uniformity – While conventional light sources can suffer from considerable lumen depreciation over time, LED technology maintains a significantly higher level of light output for much longer (per the lighting industry’s L70/LM-80 measures) and isn’t subject to performance issues such as color shifting and hot spotting, both of which can cause gaps and shadows along pathways, around corners, and in parking garages that can promote criminal behavior or lead to accidents. Their availability in a variety of color temperatures offers clean, white light that delivers improved visibility and a greater sense of security to students and faculty.
  • Reliability – While conventional light sources may not always be able to withstand certain types of harsh environments, extreme weather conditions, or temperatures below or above specific thresholds, the unique properties of LEDs render them extremely durable and weather-resistant, especially in cold and/or wet conditions.
  • Improved CCTV Resolution – A recent article in Private University Product & News noted that LED technology significantly enhanced the visibility (and subsequent usability) of security footage captured at colleges and universities utilizing closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems or who operated security cameras throughout their facilities.
  • Environmental Friendliness and Appeal – Unlike fluorescent and HID sources, LEDs contain no mercury or other hazardous substances and run much cooler and more efficiently, losing far less energy in the form of heat relative to their predecessors. Their powerful yet flexible and low-profile formats also render them able to easily match and/or complement any exterior design or décor.

A leader in application-driven lighting innovation for more than 30 years, Amerlux’s LED fixtures deliver high-performing, reliable, energy-efficient, comfortable illumination to streets, pathways, building exteriors, and parking garages at colleges and universities nationwide through the company’s Avista, Passo and Chaperone product lines.

Amerlux Products Address Multiple University Applications

Designed to bring an ease and seamlessness to campus and university streetlighting, Amerlux’s Avista LED light engines are simple-to-use yet advanced LED light engines ideal for retrofitting traditional and post-top luminaires or for use in new construction applications.  Featuring a completely-sealed LED optical chamber, the highly-efficient Avista delivers cutting-edge optics and extraordinary output to meet the most demanding streetlighting needs at today’s academic institutions, while their simple-to-install design incorporating adjustable height levels allows maintenance professionals to position the light exactly where it’s needed for optimal application and maximum performance, taking LED streetlighting on the nation’s campuses to the next level.

Amerlux’s Passo step lights are ideal for use in steps, staircases/stairwells, landscaping, and in walls/building exteriors to light walkways and add ambiance to building facades. Passo provides universities with technology that not only enhances outdoor safety and security but adds a touch of beauty as well.  Weather-proof and IP-66 rated, Passo features an independently sealed LED optical chamber that eliminates water infiltration, the No. 1 cause of product failure, and minimizes the risk of outages and subsequent labor costs associated with burn out or other maintenance.  Powerful, easy to install, available in a wide selection of sizes, faceplates, color temperatures, and light output levels, and incorporating a standard 0-10V dimmable driver to ensure greater integration with popular controls, Passo takes step/orientation lighting to the next level to enhance visibility and peace of mind for students and faculty alike.

Regarding parking garages at universities, Amerlux’s Chaperone LED fixtures use an upward-facing LED board and reflector to softly cast light towards the ground while sending a small amount of light upwards to illuminate the ceiling, eliminating the cave effect present in many garage lighting systems and creating an inviting environment that makes campus garages feel safer and more secure.  Delivering crisp, attractive, comfortable, and glare-free lighting in a highly efficient package and in effective Type III and Type V distributions, Chaperone LED fixtures turn desolate, uncomfortable parking environments into pedestrian-friendly venues with exceptional visibility, heightened new levels of safety, and measurable cost savings to boot.  Easy to install, energy-efficient, and engineered to withstand the demanding environments of parking garages, Chaperone fixtures are available in a wide selection of wattages, color temperatures and mounting configurations to meet the needs of most any campus garage lighting application.

For more information on Amerlux’s Avista, Passo, or Chaperone LED Light engines, visit

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Lead Capture

How Contractors Reduce Costly Call-Backs

Not all lights are created equal and contractors understand that the best long-term solution requires quality products from trusted manufacturers. A leader for more than 30 years, Amerlux’s Passo step lights are efficient, high-performing and reliable.

Electrical contractors are extremely busy these days, as more organizations rush to upgrade their lighting to take advantage of tax credits before they expire.

Because the clock is ticking, contractors don’t have time for lighting fixtures that are difficult to install or skimp on quality. Their customers demand high-performing, energy-efficient and reliable illumination that enhances safety, as well as aesthetics.

Getting it right the first time means fewer costly call-backs for contractors, which can tarnish their reputation and dramatically reduce repeat business that generates the bulk of profits.

When contractors want steadfast step lights that work whether it rains or shines, they choose Amerlux’s break-through Passo step lights.

Contractors understand that all lights aren’t created equal.  For the best long-term solution, they opt for quality products from trusted manufacturers.  As a leader in application-driven lighting innovation for more than 30 years, Amerlux’s Passo step lights deliver high-performing, reliable, energy-efficient, as well as comfortable illumination to stairs, pathways and building exteriors.

“We understand the complications of installing step lights and have successfully addressed those with our Passo family of step and wall lights,” said Bill Plageman, Amerlux’s vice president of marketing.

Here’s how Amerlux has specifically addressed several concerns from contractors:

  • Ease of Installation: Constructed with installers in mind, Passo’s retrofit models are specially designed to easily and quickly replace costly, high-maintenance step lights driven by conventional lighting technology. Passo models designed for new construction projects feature an injection-molded PVC housing with integral machined brass anchor blocks that complement the sealed properties of the LED module and driver, ensuring added protection against corrosive environments.  Whether a retrofit or new construction application, Amerlux’s Passo step lights provide contractors with a hassle-free installation experience.
  • Engineering for Reliability: Weather-proof Passo step lights feature game-changing innovation, including an independently sealed LED optical chamber (encompassing an LED array and heatsink enclosed in an IP66-rated sealed glass tube) that eliminates water infiltration, the No. 1 cause of product failure. Such innovation minimizes the risk of outages and the subsequent high labor costs associated with maintenance.  The bottom line?  No dissatisfied customers or costly call-backs for contractors.
  • Flexible Design: Passo is available in a wide selection of sizes, faceplates, color temperatures and light output levels to meet the needs of most any project. Specifically, Passo step lights come in louver, stainless steel louver, and tempered soft glow lens versions and in round, square, and rectangular shapes for new construction projects, as well as 8-inch and 12-inch rectangular shapes for retrofit projects.  A choice of solid color composite, brushed stainless steel, or painted cast aluminum faceplates provides additional flexibility and design versatility that will satisfy even the most discerning customer.
  • Flexible Light Output: Passo luminaires offer added versatility thanks to their availability in a choice of two light output levels, enabling contractors to tailor the desired illuminance to the specific project and ensure the optimal visibility and aesthetic effect.
  • Connectivity and Compatibility: Passo’s standard 0-10V dimmable driver ensures greater integration with the market’s most popular controls, minimizing complexity and product compatibility issues for contractors.
  • Service with a Smile: Amerlux knows that long wait times and delivery issues can cost contractors time and money….and sometimes even the job! Most Passo step lights can ship in 10 days or less from the time they’re ordered to quickly advance any new construction or retrofit project; contractors or customers with special requests can also avail themselves of Amerlux’s renowned concierge services.

For more information, sign up for news about Amerlux’s family of Passo step and wall lights.

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Top Streetlights: An ESCO’s Checklist

top streetlights

Energy service companies (ESCOs) continue to save companies large sums of money by offering a broad range of energy solutions that have tapped into the rapid proliferation of LED lighting during the past five years.

According to an Advanced Energy Economy’s study, “U.S. building efficiency products and services grew by 8 percent, or $5 billion in 2016, led by energy-efficient lighting and commercial building retrofits, both up 7 percent, reaching $26.4 billion and $8.4 billion respectively.”

As noted in a 2015 Electrical Contractor article by author Timothy Johnson, a recent study by energy efficiency and financing firm Noesis confirmed that lighting is the most popular energy-efficient upgrade undertaken in the U.S., proposed four times as much as HVAC upgrades, which ranked second.

Among lighting activity, LED upgrades in particular are expected to have the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the U.S. The widespread use of LEDs during the next decade could save nearly 350 TWh of electricity—the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants or the annual energy consumed by the entire state of Texas—and deliver total energy cost savings of more than $30 billion at current electricity prices, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Among the LED lighting upgrades being conducted, streetlighting upgrades within the estimated 25-44 million streetlights resident in cities, towns, and municipalities nationwide are one of the fastest-growing segments of the LED market for many reasons.

A Checklist for LED Streetlighting Upgrades

Industry studies confirm that the market for LED streetlighting upgrades is robust with an estimated 600+ cities from New York to Los Angeles and everywhere in between currently reporting that they’ve either upgraded or are in the process of upgrading their streetlights to LEDs thanks to the many benefits LED technology delivers to streetlighting applications.

Here are several factors that ESCOs consider when retrofitting pedestrian lighting for cities:

  • Significant Energy Savings: The majority of today’s streetlights feature outdated technology, which include high-pressure sodium, metal halide, mercury vapor and fluorescent sources. In contrast, LED technology can slash energy consumption and costs by 40 percent or more, reducing a city’s operating costs and the subsequent burden on local taxpayers.
  • Eligibility for Rebates: According to experts from New Jersey-based rebate specialist firm BriteSwitch, nearly 80 percent of the U.S. is covered by an active commercial lighting rebate program as of 2017 and the majority of these programs feature incentives on LEDs (often vetted by the DesignLightsConsortium (DLC), an organization which establishes product quality specifications in an effort to promote high-quality, energy-efficient lighting products). These attractive rebates can offset lighting projects costs by as much as 25 percent, reducing project payback periods, while increasing their ROIs.  LEDs are also popularly supported through utility performance contracts, which studies confirm are the operational model through which more than half of the ESCO community’s current projects are conducted.
  • Quick Installations: Most Avista retrofit installations take less than 15 minutes per fixture.
  • Reduced Maintenance: Thanks to their longer lifespan relative to older technologies, 50,000-100,000-hour LEDs can deliver years of maintenance-free operation, allowing cities to realize significant reductions in maintenance costs. According to the U.S. DOE, maintenance savings from the installation of LED lighting equates to roughly $50 annually per fixture and can deliver users up to twice the financial advantages available through energy savings during the fixtures’ lifetime. 
  • Durability and Reliability: While conventional light sources may not always be able to withstand certain types of harsh environments and extreme weather conditions, the unique properties of LEDs render them extremely durable and weather-resistant, especially in cold and/or wet conditions. Additionally, thanks to their durable components, LED streetlights are less vulnerable to vandalism than other light sources. 

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Lead Capture

Avista Receives U.S. Patent Protection for Game-Changing Pedestrian Lights

Avista lights

Amerlux, an award-winning design-and-manufacture lighting company, announced today it has been granted U.S. patent protection for intellectual property incorporated into its game-changing Avista pedestrian light engine.

Avista’s breakthrough IP66 sealed LED optical chamber prevents water intrusion, which is the No. 1 cause of light failure. In addition, Avista was designed for new construction applications and retrofits, which take less than 15 minutes per unit to install.

“Amerlux continues to solve marketplace problems with innovation,” said Amerlux CEO and President Chuck Campagna. “From supermarkets, high-end retail boutiques to exterior lighting, our design teams create new solutions that allow more brands to be seen in the best light.”

Co-developers Itai Leshniak and Tori Poppenheimer designed the technology nearly five years ago. Avista was originally launched in 2014 with a generational update earlier this year.

“We achieved high efficacy by using a driver with advanced power factor correction technology that enables very high power conversion efficiency,” said Leshniak, who worked on the electrical aspects of the technology. “In addition, we also achieved superior surge protection by incorporating the best available components. Avista can handle up to 10,000 amps of surge tested to ANSI C136.2-2015.”

Poppenheimer, who worked on the optics and thermal components, said she was able to distribute the power to a larger area of the LED die, which increased energy efficiency and useful life by allowing all the components to operate at a cooler temperature.

“Instead of putting some butter on a little Ritz cracker, I spread it out over the whole piece of toast,” she said. “We are killing our competitors on efficacy in terms of lumens per watt.”

Amerlux’s upgraded Avista light engine delivers 110 lumens per watt, compared to a marketplace standard of 90 lumens.

Mike Kempf, who is Amerlux’s exterior product manager, said Avista uses the directional nature of LEDs to gain an advantage over competitors who simply used LED to create a different type of 360 degree light source.

“Avista harnesses LED technology like no others,” Kempf said. “It directs 96 percent of the light down to the ground, essentially eliminating the light pollution that was common in so many decorative post top fixtures, while dramatically saving energy.”

The upgraded Avista meets new 4.0 standards of the DesignLights Consortium (DLC), which qualifies the product for rebates to shorten the ROI payback period. The light engine, which is now available for teardrop style luminaires, offers specification options, including wattages up to 68 and a lumen output up to 7500.

Avista’s new LED engine is available in standard CCTs of 2700K, 3000K and 4000K, plus customized color temperatures. The award-winning product offers three horizontal lighting distributions—symmetric, asymmetric and low-glare street optic—so clients can direct the light where it is needed.

In 2014, Avista won a Product Innovation Award in the exterior lighting category from Architectural Products magazine.

Avista Reduces Energy Bill, Preserves Aesthetics

To date, the City of Los Angeles has upgraded more than 600 decorative streetlights with Avista LED light engines. Since the upgrade, the city has realized up to 75 percent reduction in lighting energy consumption and costs in the upgraded area, while visitors are benefiting from enhanced visibility and greater peace of mind.

“The downtown area went from dingy, yellow 250-watt HPS fixtures with a monochromatic 2100K color temperature and ‘glare bomb’ properties to long-life, 60-watt LED technology with a much cooler color temperature and significantly improved color rendering,” said Charles Valdepena, principal of Los Angeles-based manufacturer’s rep agency ACV Lighting Consultants, about the transformation. “The effect is now a brighter, pleasant, soft blanket of light that enhances visual acuity and uniformly distributes the majority of light downward where it’s needed.”

For the City of Portland, the challenge was the shape of the globe and how to adapt LED technology to its exact specifications. Amerlux’s Avista addressed the challenge.

Kenny Hettrich, principal of Hillsboro, Oregon-based manufacturer’s rep agency Hy-Light Group, Inc., said: “Amerlux took great efforts to customize fixtures to the city’s exact needs, deliver pristine product, and provide exceptional customer service”—from fine-tuning the design to ensure Type III street optics with the optimal amount of lighting both in front of and behind each pole to matching the exact floral design of the fixture’s filigree ring, placing bar codes in a specific spot to support the city’s asset management requirements, and securing a manufacturer to create a specialized acrylic version of the original globe based on detailed drawings of the vintage product.

Since completing installation of the bulk of its acorn fixtures in July 2017, the city has been delighted with the results. “We went from 100-watt HPS to 42-watt LEDs, saving the city approximately 60 percent in energy consumption and costs,” said Lisa Elbert, P.E., signals and lighting engineer with the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation, who added that a rebate the city secured on the LEDs from the Energy Trust of Oregon and the Oregon Department of Energy further boosted the project’s ROI and reduced its payback period.

Standard Avista light engines can ship in 10 days or less from the time they are ordered to quickly advance any new construction or retrofit project.

For more information about the company, visit

About Amerlux

Amerlux creates bold lighting solutions that add warmth and brilliance to the world. The design-and-manufacture company builds long-term relationships with architects, facility managers and lighting designers by taking every complex problem personally. Its award-winning portfolio includes innovative interior and exterior lighting products that deliver striking aesthetics and rich performance through advanced engineering. For more information, please visit or call 201.416.2284.

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Lead Capture

A Tradition of Innovation: Amerlux’s Ability to Listen Generates Decades of Customized Solutions

Avista by Amerlux

Ever since Amerlux launched its first line of products in the 1980s—signature ED-17 metal halide lamps housed in custom track heads for use in the perimeter aisles of supermarkets—the company has demonstrated a passion for walking in its customers’ shoes and developing solutions to address their specific needs.  In the case of the specialized supermarket track light Amerlux designed to replace the PAR 30 and PAR 38 halogen lamps, which dominated the grocery segment at the time, “our fixture was longer-lasting, affordable, offered 3000K halogen-like color, and didn’t project heat, so it didn’t dry out ice or produce, which was critical to managers in produce aisles or other refrigerated areas of the store,” said Bill Plageman, Amerlux’s vice president of marketing. “Supermarkets nationwide took notice of our ‘ruggedly handsome’ solution and we penetrated that market because we were the only one offering this solution.”

Amerlux further expanded beyond the grocery segment through the 1990s, bringing its solution-oriented approach to the high-end retail arena.  Determined to solve the color and heat issues retailers and lighting designers were experiencing with then-dominant halogen MR-16 technology, “we worked with the industry’s top lamp manufacturers to help us deliver the best products using high-quality ceramic metal halide, which offered great color, improved beam projection, and no heat,” Plageman said.  Presenting its solution to architects and lighting designers, the company quickly secured business from a broad range of large, well-known retailers nationwide, “which we did by listening to the market rather than developing the product first,” he said.

Since launching its first fixtures to the market more than 30 years ago, Amerlux continues to leverage customer feedback as a critical source of new product innovation. The company remains dedicated to developing customized solutions that optimally address its customers’ pain points.  According to Plageman, “our inspiration truly comes from listening and we take a thoughtful approach to lighting.  Innovation is about taking disruptive technology that’s emerging and understanding exactly how it will be used by the human race, so we listen to our customers, as well as scientists, designers, doctors, retailers, and other experts in the industry and consider their input very carefully before we launch new products and solutions.

Following are a number of other products that demonstrate Amerlux’s customer-focused orientation and legacy of innovation through the years:

  • Chaperone – Developed in 2016, “Chaperone brings a quality LED approach to garage lighting,” said Plageman, who confirmed that garage developers/owners desire reliable, long-lasting, and energy-efficient fixtures that avoid glare and shadowing in their facilities. Based on the typically low ceilings that often create glare issues in parking garages, “we designed these fixtures with LEDs in the bottom. LEDs are positioned in the lower section of the luminaire to essentially deliver lighting in a comfortable indirect fashion. This unique approach provides soft, glare-free, effective lighting with no shadows and promotes greater visual acuity, comfort, and peace of mind for occupants and owners alike,” he said.  According to Plageman, Chaperone provides more than surveillance and communication features, accepting various plug-in chips, such as photo cell, motion, daylight and data-collecting sensors.
  • Avista – An advanced LED light engine for use in retrofitting traditional and post-top luminaires or for new construction, Avista offers a high-performing LED alternative to outdated high-pressure sodium, metal halide or mercury vapor pedestrian streetlighting technology. Along with outstanding light output and a fully-sealed LED optical chamber to protect against the elements, Avista’s adjustable height levels enable light to be flexibly positioned for maximum performance.  “We designed Avista in a disc shape with the LEDs positioned on the underside of the heatsink to maximize efficiency, resulting in a DLC-listed light engine that optimally addresses everything from energy-savings to Dark Sky compliance,” said Plageman about Avista, which takes exterior LED lighting to the next level and has been a top pick by a broad range of major cities and towns nationwide.
  • Passo – When a lighting designer complained that the customer he represented—a renowned resort in the Bahamas—was experiencing an unprecedented number of step light outages at the hands of the area’s salt water and air, “our engineers created our Passo step lights, which feature a completely sealed optical chamber and a highly-durable housing to ensure years of exceptional performance with virtually no maintenance,” Plageman said. “The sealed chamber prevents the penetration of water, bugs, or dirt and the fixtures’ high-quality construction using cast aluminum, composite and stainless-steel materials will ensure reliable operation.  We essentially built the last and final step anyone will have to take when designing with step and wall lights,” he said.
  • Lunetta – Creating a glare-free, gradated look in pedestrian lighting that reinvents the nightscape, Lunetta’s hidden LEDs allow both head and post to become illuminated as one in an appealing silhouette. “We developed Lunetta after a designer came to us in search of a pedestrian lighting fixture that would not only project soft light out from the pole, but cascade light to light under the pole, as well as see the pole itself,” Plageman explained.  “Designed as a two-piece pole and head system, Lunetta utilizes a top-down approach that serves both functional and decorative purposes.”
  • Evoke – This innovation was developed after one of Amerlux’s lighting designer customers expressed a desire for the smallest-aperture downlight possible that delivers a comfortable, glare-free, specification-grade lighting performance. Sporting just a 2.9-inch aperture, optics recessed deep enough so as to prevent glare, and flexible aiming capabilities, Evoke brought true performance and control in an LED round or square-fixed downlight, adjustable wall washer and pinhole. “Evoke proved ideal for high-end commercial hallways, entrances, foyers, and other high-ceiling areas that require a lot of lumens,” Plageman said.
  • Essenza – Amerlux developed this fixture to meet the unique design needs of hotel and residential high-rise apartment developers. “A building designer we worked with shared that he would be able to add additional floors in the building if manufacturers could just ‘squash’ their materials and design more compact products to fit between floors,” Plageman said.  “Based on the need for a recessed downlight shallow enough to fit in urban apartments, we developed Essenza in 2016.”
  • Quintetta – “The emergence of LEDs a decade ago allowed us to take a breath and consider what the technology should and could be,” Plageman said. “A typical lens resides at the bottom of a fixture, which limits light output, so we thought, ‘what about a fixture that has five lit sides?’  We ultimately designed Quintetta, which features five lit sides, out of this process,” he said of the innovation introduced in 2008.  As linear 4- or 8-foot fixtures that deliver a soft glow and are free of power cords, “Quintetta offers a more streamlined design for use in such applications as hotel/corporate lobbies, reception areas, conference rooms, coffee nooks, or any area you want to highlight with clean and aesthetically-balanced illumination.”

“During this time of disruptive technology in the lighting industry, we don’t just run with the pack at Amerlux,” Plageman said. “We listen hard and think very carefully before launching a product. We’re capable of developing any product. Our philosophy—‘It’s not the big that eat the small but the fast that eat the slow’—that results in delivering solutions when our customers really need them.”


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